If you've ever wondered what it's like to run a magazine or how crazy my personal life is, be sure to read the behind-the-scenes peek at the daily trials and tribulations of running True West. Culled straight from my Franklin Daytimer, it contains actual journal entries, laid out raw and uncensored. Some of it is enlightening. Much of it is embarrassing, but all of it is painfully true.
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Saturday, December 01, 2018
The Genesis of the Honkytonk Sue Look
December 1, 2018, I am often asked where I got the inspiration for the look of my original cowgirl character, Honkytonk Sue.
Honkytonk Sue Gets Real
Back in 1977 one of the editors at The National Lampoon asked me to submit a few cartoon ideas. I had just run across some images of early rodeo cowgirls who were then being rediscovered and showcased in magazines like Persimmon Hill:
Early Rodeo Cowgirls With Big Hats
And there was a certain 1920s style that appealed to me:
Vilma Banky & Twenties Style
So, I thought, what if you took those styles and added just a pinch of macho cross breeding:
High Plains Drifter
And what if you gave her a, ahem, hefty sidekick, like Gene and Roy had.
Sue and Donna Jean Discuss
the Sad State of Available Mates
Having spent many an evening in honkytonks moonlighting as a Country Western drummer I had witnessed more than a few cocktail waitresses who did not put up with any guff from anybody:
"Pinche tu Mama Nada"
And from my humble drummer's perch I witnessed many a tawdry spectacle.
A Typical Honkytonk Entanglement
And I realized what if you put all those elements together you'd get a new style of cowgirl for the Ages:
Gas Shortage, My Foot!
I tell you, it was a funny and fun run (note that the gas shortage is when gas was flirting with a dollar a gallon!). Sue eventually got the Beatles back together and she battled illegal aliens (the space kind) and truckoads of redneck Woosies.
So I woke up this morning and realized that dream was a long time ago and the Queen of Country Swing would be in her mid-to-late sixties by now. And, as I sat up in bed, I wondered, what would that look like?
Coming Next:"The Last Fandango at The Heatwave Cafe"